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Emily in Paris? More like Emily in Debt

I watched the first season of Emily in Paris through gritted teeth. How can a show be so tragically unrealistic yet so damn irresistible at the same time? As someone who has worked as a marketing executive and has spent a considerable amount of time in the city of love, I can confidently assume Emily is living well beyond her means in Paris.

Is Emily earning the big bucks? Probably not

The average Parisian Marketing Executive takes home around €46,000 per year thank you, Glassdoor. As of February 2022, that converts to around AU$73,000. You might be lucky to score an end-of-year bonus that boosts your bank account, but even at the highest level, salaries cap out around €90,000 AU$140,000. Despite her miraculous ability to start a viral campaign with a single Instagram post, she’s far from running the show at Savoir – so let’s assume she’s earning somewhere in the realm of €60,000.

Cost of living in Paris

Emily’s apartment is located in the 5th arrondissement, a stone’s throw from the Seine river. A quick Google search reveals rent will set you back between 1200-2000 AU$2000-$3100 per month.  If you live in Sydney, this sounds like a bargain. Let’s not forget to add utilities €178/month and internet €30/month.

If Emily wasn’t having a steamy love affair with a chef around the corner from her apartment, she’d probably be dropping a few hundred euros every month on groceries. Luckily, she seems to get her fair share of free meals. On top of that, because men are practically tripping over each other to take her on a date, we can probably assume her monthly grocery allocation is relatively modest. 

If Sarah Jessica Parker can afford to live in a lavish Manhattan apartment on a freelance writer’s wage, I can accept that Emily may be able to make it work in Paris. However, the deal-breaker for me here is the wardrobe.

It’s called fashion, honey. Look it up.

Sporting brands like Missoni, Elie Saab and Miu Miu, and forever trotting around in Louboutins, it’s probably safe to say that most of Emily’s paycheck goes on clothing and accessories. 

In Episode 9, Season 2, she casually roams around the city wearing a cumulative total of €4000 AU$6300 on her person. The belt alone comes with a €1000 price tag, and the shoes could cover a month’s rent. I must credit the show’s stylists for their fruitless attempt to stay in touch with the common folk. The white vest is from Zara and will only set you back $100 or so. 

I’d also like to point out that the dress Emily wears to a party in St Tropez in Episode 2, Season 2 – which, to be fair, is cute as hell – costs an eye-watering €8000 AU$12,000. Need I continue?

Is anyone else deeply concerned about her spending habits? How much credit card debt is she in? How many different BNPL services is she using? Is she at least using a round up app to help her pay a little extra off her debts every time she makes a purchase? 

In her defence, she does work for a marketing agency that specialises in luxury brands, so there’s a chance she’s getting a lot of this stuff for free. If that is the case, is Savoir currently hiring? Asking for a friend…

The consumer-debt spiral

Judging by the number of social media accounts dedicated to replicating Emily’s style or tracking down the exact garments she wears in the show, it’s clear Emily in Paris has had an impact. Just like Sex and the City and a host of other aspirational-yet-completely-unrealistic shows, Emily in Paris presents an ideal. Consumers who buy too heavily into it may find themselves up debt creek without a paddle. 

It’s easy to get carried away in the pursuit of style but staying on-trend isn’t worth going into high-interest debt over.

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Disclaimer: This article contains general information only, and is not general advice or personal advice. Wisr Services does not recommend any product or service discussed in this article. You must get your own financial, taxation, or legal advice, and understand any risks before considering whether a product or service discussed in this article may be appropriate for you. We have taken reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but the information is subject to change. We may not update the article to reflect any change.

*Average cost of rent per month in the 5th arrondissement of Paris estimated based on figures here, correct as of 3 February 2022, https://www.parisattitude.com/rent-apartment-paris-5.aspx

*Cost of living deduced from figures here, correct as of 3 February 2022, https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Paris#:~:text=Summary%20about%20cost%20of%20living,New%20York%20without%20rent

*Currency conversions are correct as of 8 February, 2022, using Xe Currency Converter, https://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/

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